We have been continuing our work up on the roof of Steward Observatory with trying to track stars and schedule a target for observing a transit. We have run in to some things that we were hoping we could get some advice on. I will attach some pictures below to illustrate.
Our Polar Alignment to start our night of observing:
After some experimenting, we figured out we can change the exposure time and number of exposures run_pocs uses by adding keywords into the targets yaml file in $POCS/resources/targets/. Is there a good rule of thumb for how to set these numbers for a given target beyond making sure you cover the full transit (ie exposure time * min number of exposures >= total time of transit), and don’t over-expose the images?
Is there a way to set the start time of the observation in the configuration so that run_pocs can be left running waiting for the transit to start, and automatically start observing rather than us having to start run_pocs manually at the correct time?
When we pick our own target, we follow the formatting in simple.yaml to create our target list that has 1 target star that we found has a transit. We then point pocs_local.yaml to look at that file, and run the pocs shell. From there we “run setup_pocs night weather” and then “run_pocs”. Once it starts observing our target, it doesn’t appear to track the star while exposing the cameras (see 120s exposure below that we did to make clear if we were tracking or not, so it is a little overexposed). How do we make sure that the mount tracks the star? Is there something we need to include in our target or pocs_local config? We tried having the pointing auto-correct both True and False and that didn’t seem to matter for this.
It is our goal to track a transit and get the data collected so we can ask for help reducing it to verify we see an accurate light curve. Obviously we need to solve the previous questions to get to that point, but we would like to try doing the data collection by the end of this upcoming weekend. @wtgee can you help us pick a quality target and understand how to track it (mostly just questions 1-3 above), and then maybe help us do the data reduction following if our data collection goes well?